Not that into you

Aromantics say they aren’t cold and heartless, they’re just not that into you (or anyone)

Man plugging nose

First we told you about g0ys, men who are attracted to other men but who are offended by the label “gay” and who refuse to have anal sex because it’s too “violent.”

Then we told you about androphiles, men who are attracted to other men but who are offended by the labels “homosexual” and “gay” but who still engage in anal sex.

Now, allow us to introduce you to aromantics, a whole new sexual subculture that seems to be growing in popularity.

Related: Don’t call me gay, I’m an androphile: The latest sexual subculture to add to your vocabulary

Urban Dictionary defines “aromantic” as someone who “does not experience romantic attraction.” It also clarifies that “a person who is aromantic does not have to be asexual … They might still experience sensual and aesthetic attraction.”

In other words: You can be aromantic and sexually attracted to people, you just don’t gets butterflies over anyone; sex is for pleasure and nothing else.

Mark Schmidt is a 27-year-old aromantic, or “aro,” from Detroit. He’s also the founder of the Facebook group Aromantic Non-Asexuals, which currently has over 150 members from all across the country.

“Intentional or not, online aromantic communities seem to be overwhelmingly asexual by default,” he tells MyJoyOnline. “I have never advertised my group, [but] it seems to be growing exponentially through word of mouth.”

Other popular aromantic groups are Happily Aromantic, which has almost 500 members, and Aromantic Talk, which has over 1600 members.

“I am happy for the internet making it easy to find and create communities of people with similar disinterest or disgust with romance or romantic feelings,” Schmidt says. “People often seem ecstatic to realize there are others like them when they find my group. It’s really rewarding to see that happen and I want to see more of it.”

Related: Let’s talk about ‘g0ys,’ gay men who are so opposed to anal sex that they’ve created a little club

Juliette Arnold is a 19-year-old French psychology student and aromantic. She tells MyJoyOnline that she couldn’t be less interested in romance with another human being.

“People think that I ‘just haven’t met the right person yet’, which is, of course, not true,” she explains. “I have found the right person–myself.

26-year-old Brii Noelle, a mother of two, agrees.

“I’m not sure if I ever felt more than just ‘comfort’ and platonic love when dating anyone,” she says. “I’m not cold or a prude. I just don’t feel any romantic feelings for anyone, and I don’t want to be in a romantic relationship.”

But, she says, this doesn’t make her an uncaring person.

“I still have a huge, sensitive heart. I watch Hallmark movies about true love and marriage, and cry at those!”

Schmidt says there’s still a major stigma attached to aromantics, which he believes stems from society’s happily-ever-after-love-conquers-all mentality.

“An obsession with romantic love is clearly the norm in Western culture,” he says. “I get the sense that most people hold romantic connection as somehow superior to all other forms of human connection.”

Aromantics want none of this. And that’s OK!

“I will maybe never fall in love, I will never get married, I may spend the rest of my life alone with my hundreds of cats in my big country house,” Arnold says.

“I spent a long time thinking I was the way I am due to mental illness or just being broken,” adds Noelle. “But being aro is just as normal as being anything else.”

Related: Do you exhibit ‘asexual microaggressions’ and not even know it? (Hint: Probably)

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27 Comments

  • Heywood Jablowme

    I don’t doubt this is a real thing, it’s just that the people quoted seem too young to know such a thing for sure. Especially the women. Really, a 19 year old woman? Most of them can’t keep track from week to week whether they’re straight, lesbian or bi.

    But then she says, “I will maybe never fall in love” — maybe? Well, actually THAT is a good attitude for anyone starting out in adult life. You never know, after all, unless it does happen.

  • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

    We’re amongt friends, we can say “sociopath”

    • MikeE

      that is EXACTLY what I as going to say!!

  • Josh447

    Sounds like a bunch of spiney withered old aunts. Do they even kiss or hold hands? Sounds like serious intimacy issues or they are Vulcan.

    • MikeE

      actually, Vulcans would feel the emotions, they would simply not display them.
      a common misconception about the characters, they are no incapable of emotion, but rather tightly control emotional displays and how emotions affect their lives.

      as far as I’m concerned, these people sound more like borderline sociopaths.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      Some extreme overreactions here.

      With gay men specifically, this used to just be called “being in your 20s.” It’s pretty common for guys in their 20s to NOT be interested in serious dating. Then after 30, they get more interested. They may even fall in love, being more open to it.

      It’s no big deal and it certainly doesn’t mean they’re sociopaths. Maybe you guys are emotionally needy and you’re the ones who should be discussing this subject with your therapists. :-)

  • pppnyc

    What’s happening is identification of ever smaller and more specific subcategories of human sexuality. Heterosexual, Bisexual and Homosexual are all categories, and as people get more and more open about who they find attractive and have sex with, new categories are created. In the 1950’s we had a few kinds of music: Classical, Big Band, Jazz. Then came one big category called ‘Rock-N-Roll’. Now how many categories are there? Just of that last one? It’s the same thing. Who cares.

  • jd.cali

    So I really love to cuddle, my mate doesn’t really like to cuddle too much…
    My best friend tells me he has sensitive nipples, but his bf’s nipples are dead/numb…
    My coworker tells me she likes to take bathes, but her girlfriend doesn’t like bathes because she likes a shower…

    Do we need to create new sub-labels for these terribly striking differences too? I feel like really lonely and insignificant with only being labeled a gay man. ;)

  • Donston

    Hell, at least 40% percent of all men are like this.

    Joking aside (or sorta joking), like many things this seems like something often triggered by past abuse or assault, extreme self-resentment and low self-esteem, overwhelming fears of rejection and abandonment and being hurt, and/or extreme self-centeredness and egomania. Plenty of gay and gay-leaning men never have or even seek out a real and substantial romantic relationship with a man because of these things. However, most of these particular people are just too damn young to take seriously.

  • Brian

    When an entire generation is raised to believe that they are all special snowflakes, this is what you get. 20 different gender labels obviously weren’t enough, now they have to start labeling this stupid shit too?

    I seriously have no idea why this is such a thing with millennials, why can’t they just be themselves without having to make such an issue out of identity?

    • jhon_siders

      Because they are a mess and if there cell system and internet went down I think they would just fall over dead !! LOL

  • Prax07

    Sounds like a group of narcissists, hopefully they won’t breed and pass the crazy in to future generations.

    • Agentothe9

      EXACTLY!

      Sounds suspiciously like a bunch of hipsters too ?

  • Paco

    I’m more interested in how they will feel after experiencing a few decades of adult life lessons.

    The regrets of creating end of your shelf-life loneliness should be an interesting read.

  • RIGay

    Wow… for a generation so not into labels, they certainly like to label things.

    How about this: Do what feels good and right. Period.

    Stop with the “We need to invent a new word to define this because I am soooo confuses!”; for that there is this thing called “therapy”, and trust me, a good therapist is worth their weight in gold!

  • Jack Meoff

    Wow the millennials seem to be creating a while bunch of new labels to try and pigeonhole all their myriad differences while at the same time declaring that they don’t want to be labelled. What I am taking away from all of this is that they just don’t want to be associated with the old labels and want to recreate the wheel so that every special little snowflake can have their own special little box to fit into.

  • DCguy

    The desperation to explain away baggage with a label is just sad.

    Normally these guys would just be told they don’t want intimacy, or fear intimacy. People just over a break-up, people that meet people that are sexually attractive but don’t have personalites that match, etc… all feel like this.

    But now the desperation to continue to weaken the lgbt community is at the point that they are trying to create a sub genre of people that like f*cuking but don’t want to date.

    Sheesh.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      ” desperation to continue to weaken the lgbt community ”

      Huh? You see a conspiracy here to “weaken the lgbt community”? Who’s behind the desperate conspiracy… millennial hipster douchebags?

      Please explain!

    • Donston

      This isn’t really connected to lgbtvcriphone7. It’s just people (mostly in their late teens and early twenties) saying they can’t develop romantic feelings.

      I do agree that many people try to subdue emotional, psychological and sociological baggage by tacking on more labels and not really confronting things and that many are obsessed with being something. I don’t see a conspiracy but rather a lot of people who don’t fully understand themselves or aren’t willing to confront core issues or, in some cases, are just looking to be special.

    • RIGay

      I agree. It goes with the societal issues in our country today with people just getting so self-absorbed that they cannot function outside their bubble. Only those who think like them are welcome in, everything else is just misinformation. In the long run, it does nothing except cause division.

      Jeezuz… and I thought seeing “No fats or fems” on a dating profile was confusing.

  • IWantAFullBeard

    There are biological reasons human naturally fall in love. And while the biochemistry of humans changes overtime, such Darwinism doesn’t occur in a 10 year period.

  • light

    Wow. Just reading the comments makes me disgusted in pretty much anyone in the LGBT community here. For a community that wants acceptance and equality it sure doesn’t stop you guys voicing your opinion about how other groups don’t matter. How they are “too young” or “confused”. I remember when those terms were used in regards to gay kids… oh wait, they still are. Pull the sticks out of your backsides and stop pretending like your better than anyone else.

    If they don’t want romance that’s their choice. If they don’t feel sexually attracted yet again good for them. Just because you don’t understand or like something gives you absolutely no right to negatively put them down you hypocritical old queens.

    • Brian

      Just because someone comes up with a name for something doesn’t magically make it a group that deserves legitimacy as a sexual preference. We are putting them down because this is a stupid concept. It’s something virtually all of us have felt at some point in our lives, and these morons trying to claim it as something that makes them special deserves every bit of scorn that it gets.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      @light: It’s always amusing to see “For a community that wants acceptance and equality” blah blah blah, followed by a nasty sanctimonious pr!ck comment like yours. Hilarious!

      You sound pretty young and confused yourself. Or maybe you’re just a sociopath, lol.

  • jd.cali

    Light,
    The snarky comments that you see are mostly tongue and cheek because the need for a tiny tiny tiny group of people who want to give themselves a label for a specific type of intimacy. Its not necessary and exhausting. And the fact that many of these individuals are young and inexperienced hieghtens the frustration because simply because they are inexperienced and simply don’t know yet.
    Don’t be offended. En-lighten the group, but have a sense of humor about it. If this story was about young gays who have popsicle fetishes and now want to be called popsexuals, you’d be rolling your eyes too.

    • light

      jd.cali – “The snarky comments that you see are mostly tongue and cheek because the need for a tiny tiny tiny group of people who want to give themselves a label for a specific type of intimacy. Its not necessary and exhausting. And the fact that many of these individuals are young and inexperienced hieghtens the frustration because simply because they are inexperienced and simply don’t know yet.”

      And that there is my problem, gays (young and old alike) have been told that we are a tiny group, that we are too young and inexperienced. I just find it a bit hypocritical to use the same arguments about another group that have been used on us for so long. Besides, does it really matter that they are labelling something like this? Labels have power, if you label and name yourself it allows you to stop everyone else doing it for you.

      Who really cares if its such a small percentage of the population, so are we but we still expect to be treated like we matter, at one stage people didn’t believe in homosexuality… until they did. Who is to say this is any different?

      Brian – I can say with absolute certainty I have never felt it in my life.

      Heywood Jablowme – Being nice to douche bags never works ;)

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